Conductor, composer, pianist and organist, Mark Sirett (b. 1952) is the founding Artistic Director of the award-winning Cantabile Choirs of Kingston, Ontario, Canada. He is a native of Kingston and holds both masters and doctoral degrees in choral conducting and pedagogy from the University of Iowa. Dr. Sirett has taught at the University of Alberta, the University of Western Ontario and Queen’s University.
Dr. Sirett has won two international awards in conducting: the Jury Prize for Imaginative Programming and Artistry at the 2002 Cork International Choral Festival, and Outstanding Conductor at the 2004 Young Prague Festival. In 2009 he was the recipient of the President’s Leadership Award presented by Choirs Ontario for his contribution to the choral art in the province. His composition, “The Stars Point the Way” was honoured as Outstanding Choral Composition 2010 by the Association of Canadian Choral Communities. Recently he was awarded Distinguished Alumni of Grant MacEwan University, Edmonton.
He is frequently in demand as a guest conductor and clinician. He has directed the Ontario Youth Choir, Alberta Honours Children’s Chorus, Manitoba Provincial Honours Children’s Choir, Saskatchewan Treble Choir Project, Association for Music in International Schools European High School Women’s Honors Choir, Luxembourg, Unisong in Ottawa, Waterloo District High School Festival, Meet the Composer Festival (Des Moines IA), the Peel School Board Honours Chamber Choir and the adult and children’s camps for the Nova Scotia Choral Federation. As a clinician, he has presented for the Association of Canadian Choral Communities, Nova Scotia Music Educators, Nova Scotia Choral Federation, Manitoba Choral Association, Ontario Vocals Festival, the Royal Canadian College of Organists and the Royal School of Church Music.
As an adjudicator Dr. Sirett served on the Jury of the Cork International Choral Festival in 2009; he has frequently adjudicated choral festivals in Canada including Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg. He has been clinician adjudicator for SingONtario, SaskSings, ChorFest Alberta and ChorFest Manitoba.
He is former Organist and Music Director of St. George’s Cathedral, Kingston. Under his direction the Girl Choristers won first prize in the CBC Competition for Amateur Choirs in the Church Choir division. Since founding the Cantabile Choirs in the fall of 1996, the choirs have received numerous distinctions at the regional, national and international levels. Recognized for creative programming, the choirs were awarded ‘Outstanding Choral Event 2010’ by the Association of Canadian Choral Communities for ‘Brown Eagle, Black Raven’, a concert that honoured aboriginal cultures of the world.
Dr. Sirett is also an award-winning composer whose works are frequently performed by some of Canada’s leading ensembles. Commissions have included works for the National Youth Choir of Canada, the Amabile Youth Singers, Ottawa Regional Youth Choir, Elora Festival Singers, University of Iowa and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. His published works are found in the catalogues of Boosey and Hawkes, Oxford University Press, ECS Publishing, Walton, Hinshaw, Alliance, Santa Barbara, Carus Verlag, Augsburg/Fortress, Alfred and Canadian International.